Collaborative Maintenance in Large Open-Source Projects

TitleCollaborative Maintenance in Large Open-Source Projects
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
Authorsden Besten, M, Dalle, J-M, Galia, F
Secondary TitleOSS2006: Open Source Systems (IFIP 2.13)
Pagination233 - 244
Keywordsapache, COLLABORATION, complexity, cvs, gaim, gcc, ghostscript, halstead, lines of code, loc, mccabe, mozilla, netbsd, openssh, postgresql, python, sloc

The paper investigates collaborative work among maintainers of open source software by analyzing the logs of a set of 10 large projects. We inquire whether teamwork can be influenced by several characteristics of code. Preliminary results suggest that collaboration among maintainers in most large open-source projects seems to be positively influenced by file vintage and by Halstead volume of files, and negatively by McCabe complexity and size measured in SLOCs. These results could be consistent with an increased attractivity of files created early in the history of a project, and with maintainers being less attracted by more verbose code and by more complex code, although in this last case it might also reflect the fact that more complex files would be de facto more exclusive in terms of maintenance.

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